US billionaire puts plane on Autopilot to have sex with 15-year-old girl, faces jail
Washington, May 22: A New Jersey-based millionaire faces five years in jail after he pleaded guilty for engaging in sex acts with a 15-year-old girl, once even putting his private plane in autopilot mode for the purpose.
Stephen Bradley Mell, 53, of Bedminster, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to federal charges of engaging in interstate travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct and receiving child pornography in December 2018 and is now due for sentencing on Tuesday.
According to reports, Mell began sexting with the teenage girl shortly after he was introduced to her by her mother, who wanted the 15-year-old girl to take flying lessons from him.
According to the complaint, Mell, who is a father of three, began chatting up with the girl in 2017, and would exchange text messages and SnapChat photos with her. He took advantage of her during a trip to New York City, and took a photograph of her naked in front of him while in a hotel.
On July 20, the two of them met for their private flight out of Somerset County Airport in New Jersey. The purpose of the journey was to engage in "illicit conduct, specifically, a sexual act," the complaint said.
It was on the return flight to Somerset when Mell allegedly put the plane on autopilot to have sex with the girl.
The two communicated throughout the summer of 2017. The final communication between the pair was in November 2017, when Mell ask the child to 'Send me a nice naked pic cute thing.'
It was not clear how Mell's abusive behaviour was exposed, however, the accused admitted to his crimes in December 2018. The case also resulted in his wife filing for a divorce from him.